Dave Deslauriers /

Why Registering Company Vehicles Yourself is a Bad Idea

When most people think of vehicle registrations, they think of receiving a renewal notice in the mail, going online (in some states) or to the DMV, paying the applicable fee, and not thinking about it again for another year or two. However, when it comes to fleet vehicles, the process can be much more arduous than many realize. In this article, we’ll take a look at the potential complications that can cost whoever is handling the situation time, money, and aggravation.

Tracking Registration Expirations & Renewals

Whether your company purchases their vehicles through a dealership or leases them through a fleet management company, when you first receive the vehicles, they will most likely already be registered and ready to hit the road. That’s the easy part. The more difficult part of the process comes into play when those vehicles are coming due for renewal. Chances are, your company didn’t purchase all of their vehicles at the same time. Vehicles were likely added as others needed to be replaced, or as more vehicles were required in order to conduct business. That means that all of those vehicles probably have different registration expiration dates that need to be meticulously tracked. Additionally, depending on which state that the vehicle is located in, the registration renewal notice may either be sent to your company, the fleet management company (if applicable), or directly to the driver. With so many moving parts, it’s easy to see how things might slip through the cracks. An error in tracking could cause a vehicle to be out of compliance and potentially impounded.

Processing Registration Renewals

Once you devise a foolproof method of tracking registration expirations, you then have the unpleasant task of ensuring that the renewals are properly processed. This might not be so difficult if your vehicles all concentrated in a single location. However, most companies have vehicles dispersed throughout several states, if not nation-wide. Each jurisdiction is going to have their own unique procedures, and as a result, the process of renewing a vehicle’s registration is going to vary by state, county, or even town. For example, there are certain counties in the state of Kentucky that require the vehicle’s current registration to be surrendered in order to renew. That’s not a problem if you have an office in that area; however, it can end up being a complicated process if your company is headquartered 1000 miles away. And that’s just one example of a unique requirement. If your company elects to handle registrations on their own, someone is going to have to stay abreast of all of the registration rules and requirements in each state, county, and town in which you operate a vehicle.

Additionally, some states require drivers to have the vehicle inspected prior to renewing the registration. If you operate in any of those states, you then have the responsibility of ensuring that all of your drivers complete the inspection process in a timely manner as failure to do so will result in a lapsed registration (which could result in the registration suspension of every vehicle you own within that state).

Driver or Vehicle Relocations

Another potential point of frustration takes place when drivers or vehicles relocate. As mentioned above, rules and regulation can vary between state, county, or even town. When a driver or vehicle relocates, someone has to be responsible for finding out the appropriate way of canceling the vehicle’s current registration, and the appropriate way to register the vehicle in its new home. On top of that, the transaction has to be timed in such a way as to ensure that there is no lapse in valid registration. Depending on where the vehicle or driver is leaving and where they’re going to, this could be a time-consuming task.

A Potential Solution

If all of that sounds like more than you want to handle, you’re not alone. In fact, taking those burdens off of your plate is one of the main reasons why more and more companies are electing to partner with a fleet management company. Working with a fleet management company allows organizations to simply pass the headaches associated with vehicle registrations off to someone with the resources and experience to handle it. As a result, companies can allocate less time toward managing the fleet, and more time toward their core business.

For more information on whether or not a Full Registration program may be right for your company, contact us today at 800-243-0182 or email us at info@motorlease.com.




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